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Looking back on the infamous 'Denkinger game' for the Cardinals 35 years ago

It was one of the most infamous moments in Cardinals history, and may well have cost the franchise another World Series. Where were you for the 'Denkinger game'?
Credit: AP
Whitey Herzog, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals watches the action at the 7th game of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 27, 1985. Cardinals lost the game in a shutout, 11-0. (AP Photo)

ST. LOUIS — On Oct. 26, 1985, the Cardinals could've very well captured what at the time would've been their 10th World Series title in Kansas City.

Rookie St. Louis closer Todd Worrell entered Game 6 of the 1985 World Series against the Royals looking to preserve a 1-0 lead, and finish off the series.

Then, Denkinger happened.

Jorge Orta led off the inning with a little squibber to first baseman Jack Clark, who tossed it to Worrell covering the base, for what appeared to be an out to begin the inning. But first base umpire Don Denkinger didn't see it that way, and called Orta safe.

Replay showed definitively that Orta was out by a considerable margin, but with no replay challenges back in 1985, the call on the field stood and the Royals got the leadoff man on while the Cardinals argued.

Watch: Denkinger calls Orta safe at first in 1985

Things pretty much unraveled from there.

Worrell gave up a single to Steve Balboni, a bunt from Jim Sundberg forced an out at third to put runners on first and second with one out. A Worrell passed ball moved the runners to second and third, and an intentional walk to Hal McRae loaded the bases for Dane Iorg.

Iorg's single to right field scored pinch runner Onix Concepcion and Sundberg scored to give the Royals the 2-1 win in Game 6 and extend the series another day.

Of course, Game 7 would only extend the misery for Cardinals fans.

The Royals won in an 11-0 blow out to clinch their first World Series title, manager Whitey Herzog and pitcher Joaquin Andujar were ejected and the Cardinals' season came to an unbelievably bitter end.

Credit: AP
Pitcher Joaquin Andujar of the St. Louis Cardinals, is restrained by his teammates after being ejected from Game 7 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 27, 1985. Andujar twice charged home plate umpire Don Denkinger in the fifth inning, accusing him of making bad calls. (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa)

Who knows what happens if the Cardinals get that out to begin the ninth inning in Game 6, 35 years ago Monday?

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